Enfield Veterinary Hospital
94 Coronation Parade
Enfield, NSW, 2136

Phone: 02 9747 3999
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To All the Friends of Enfield Vet and their Pets,

The November edition of our newsletter touches on one of the major issues that arises with the start of the hotter weather - TICKS.

We are lucky in that ticks are not widely encountered in the Inner West of Sydney but that is not true of vast parts of the rest of the city and almost the whole of the NSW and Queensland coasts - places where we often bring our pets when holidaying over the summer months.

Tick paralysis can be fatal so it is vital that if you are visiting a tick affected area with your pets then you apply appropriate tick preventatives. There are a few very effective new treatments that have become available - please call the hospital and talk to one of our staff if you need more advice about this.

The newsletter also has an article dealing with the issue of kidney disease in cats and dogs. Have a throrough read of all the info and if this is something you suspect may be happening in your pet then an examination by one of our vets is vital.

Finally, we hope you enjoy the compilation of pictures we have added of pets catching treats - definitely good for a laugh!

As always, we are available for any of your pet health needs - just call or come in and speak to us.

The Team at Enfield Vet Hospital

Contents of this newsletter

01  Beware of hitchhikers

02  The silent disease

03  Check out these brilliant photos

04  Vaccination reminder

05  Reconsider your retractable leash

01 Beware of hitchhikers

There have been recent reports of deadly paralysis ticks showing up in metropolitan areas in Melbourne. The paralysis tick is usually found along the eastern coast of Australia but this is a good reminder to be alert for these little critters anywhere as they can easily hitch a ride on pets or people who have visited these areas.

Watch out for:

  • a change in bark or meow
  • coughing
  • excessive salivation
  • vomiting or regurgitation
  • increased or laboured breathing
  • weakness in the hind legs, progressing to the forelimbs
  • reluctance to get up or walk

If you notice any of these symptoms you should seek veterinary attention immediately. Treatment of paralysis tick starts with tick anti-venom, which needs to be administered as soon as possible. Other treatments used depend on the severity of tick paralysis, but might include: intravenous fluids, sedation to prevent breathing difficulties, oxygen therapy, antibiotics for treatment of pneumonia and drugs to reduce salivation and vomiting.

Prevention of tick paralysis is essential if your pet lives in or is visiting the eastern seaboard of Australia. There is a range of excellent products available to repel and kill ticks (including some great new products) but none are 100 per cent effective and the ideal prevention depends on your pet's lifestyle.

Ask us for the best recommendation or if you have any questions relating to paralysis ticks.

02 The silent disease

We often refer to kidney disease as the silent killer as it can sneak up on your pet and signs may be subtle and hard to notice. This type of kidney disease is referred to as chronic kidney disease and is something we may detect in an older cat.

In other cases, kidney disease can come on quickly following an insult from a toxin, a certain drug or a disease. This is referred to as acute kidney disease and might for example occur in a dog who has eaten grapes or sultanas that contain a kidney toxin.

The kidneys contain thousands of little factories called nephrons and their job is to work out how much water should be conserved in the body. Once damaged or destroyed, nephrons do not function properly and can't regenerate. As a result, the body doesn't conserve enough water so your pet will urinate more and will drink more to stay hydrated. Surprisingly, your pet may not show any changes on blood tests until 75% of these nephrons are damaged.

 Signs to watch out for:

  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • weight loss
  • vomiting
  • lethargy

Measuring your pet's water intake over 24 hours and bringing us a morning urine sample are two things you can do to get the investigation process started. A blood test, urine testing and a measure of your pet's blood pressure may then be necessary. If we detect the kidneys are not working properly, the earlier we initiate treatment with diet modification the better.

There is also now a new medication available that can help reduce protein loss through the kidneys and can help slow the progress of this insidious disease. Ask us if your pet requires this medication.

If you are worried about your pet you should phone us for advice.

03 Check out these brilliant photos

We came across some pretty special photos this month.

Have you ever seen a dog trying to catch a treat mid air?

Click here for some of the best slow motion pics you'll ever see!

04 Vaccination reminder

Is your pet ready for the Christmas holidays? If your pet is boarding over the holiday period and isn’t up to date with his vaccinations now is the time to get things in order.

Most boarding facilities require cats to have a minimum of a F3 vaccination and dogs a C5 vaccination but it's best to check with the facility your pet is booked in with now - before it's too late!

Vaccinating your pet is one of the most important things you can do to ensure they lead a healthy life.

Our top reasons for vaccinating are as follows:

1. Vaccinations protect against preventable diseases.

2. Vaccinations are substantially less expensive than the cost of treatment for the diseases they protect against.

3. Vaccinations protect your pet from transmissible diseases in boarding facilities, at parks and even when they visit us (if your pet has to be hospitalised for any illness, their immune system may already be compromised so you want to make sure they are protected, otherwise they may have to stay in isolation)

Your pet’s health, lifestyle and where you live may affect which vaccinations are necessary and we will determine the most appropriate vaccination program for your pet.

If you have any questions about vaccinations please ask us for the most up to date information. We are more than happy to discuss what your pet needs and why, so call us today.

05 Reconsider your retractable leash

You probably haven't thought about it but did you know that a retractable leash can be a potential hazard? 

Not only have we heard reports of owners having their fingers severed from these leashes (when a dog suddenly pulls hard and the leash runs quickly through the hand) but these devices can also be dangerous for your dog.

We've witnessed plenty of situations where a dog on a retractable leash is allowed to get too close to an aggressive dog or even head towards a busy road. It is very difficult to be in full control of your dog if you are using one of these leashes so it is hard for us to recommend them.

When it comes to walking your dog, we can advise you on the most suitable leash or harness.